"Not always so sunny Maldives" Laurina's Profile

Nemo's cousin

I try to go diving as much as possible and have recently gotten into underwater photography. What struck me looking at this clown fish was the bright orange-colored anemone coral! Even my dive guide told me he had never seen an anemone this color :o)

Current Home: Maldives!

Welcome to my global travels!!!

I've lived abroad all my life - not really an adventurer by nature, more by circumstance! I was born and raised in Denmark and also lived in the States for a while. I spent four years in the West Bank (Ramallah and then Jerusalem) then Pakistan for 3 1/3 years.

I've been living in the Maldives for nearly 1 1/2 years on the capital island, Male' one of the most densely populated spaces on earth. Definitely the most densely populated island! This means not the most comfortable living conditions for most people if one uses the limited space as an indicator. No I'm not on a permanent holiday here - I actually am here for WORK!

As I've never been your conventional tourist, more like a cultural nomad, my pages are meant to convey my impressions of places I have lived in and experienced. Oh, and most of the pictures are mine unless otherwise indicated (plus, I admit, my Dad took a few!)

Anyway, I'm so thrilled to have discovered the VT community. It doesn't take long to get addicted, does it?


Recent travels....in short....

August 2005: Driving up the Karokoram Highway, Hunza, across the Shandur Pass, Chitral....Wow. Pakistan's Northern Areas!

April/May 2005: Various trips to Lahore - why did I only fall for this city during my last months in Pakistan?

January 2005: Delhi/Agra
Highlight: What is the difference between Pakistan and India? Nothing and everything!!!!!!!!

January 2005: Karachi. Party on the beach w/ a 6 am breakfast. Who says Pakistanis don't know how to have a good time?

December 2004: Luxembourgh
Fun-filled family visit....I managed to explore the underground nightlife of Lux - was VERY impressed...

November 2004: Cholistan desert/Rahim Yar Khan, i.e. Southern Punjab....a blend of desert forts, camels and sugar cane carts, mango farms, desert, camels, off-roading, cotton picking farmers, turbans, turbans turbans, and oh, did I mention camels? It was awesome...I'm telling you anyone who travels to South Asia without visiting Pakistan is a fool

Quetta, Balochistan

Last year I spent 3 weeks on a field mission to Quetta. I'd hoped to visit some of the nearby provinces, Pishin and Sibi, but the day before I was supposed to go the Foreign ministry issued a security advisory requiring foreigners with international missions to get security clearance 15 days before(!) Not something the UN can work with...

What can I say? In many ways, it was like a holiday, half of the time anyway. During the day I'd either be working in our provincial office, meeting with government counterparts and NGOs, or walking around the slums of Quetta. I visited the Hindu community (I think the most miserable people I've seen in Pakistan, then again, some of the kids were educated so perhaps the newer generation is getting access to a better life) THe highlight was visiting a school for Afghan refugee kids, all girls. More pictures to come...

And in the evening I'd come home, sit in the garden of the Serena Hotel and drink some fresh squeezed orange juice, watching the sun set over the mountains. Th landscape is quite similar to parts of Afghanistan and it's said that it's even more beautiful. Moon-scape.

This is a picture of some carpet weaving boys from the Hazara community. They are originally from the Bamia area in Afghanistan (where the destroyed Buddhas are). Though they are working children, they are probably better off then the kids picking through garbage on the streets of Quetta.

Colorful girls in Quetta

While in Quetta I visited a school set up by a local NGO, which provides education to Afghan refugee girls. They are called 'Moghuls', originally hailing from Central Asia (Uzbekistan). Eventually they migrated to Northern Afghanistan and ended up in Quetta during the war against the Soviets. However, since they are not 'official' refugees, they have little access to services. I asked why they were called 'Moghuls'. The reason is that when they first arrived in Afghanistan, they came from the direction that the 'Moghuls' came from....East. OK, that's a bit confusing.

In any case, these girls were happy to have their picture taken (I asked them first!) but of course they wouldn't show their faces. Still, the colors of their shalwar kameezes are colorful enough to warrant a picture :o)

La Bella Calabria

This is one of my favorite pages. My parents lived in this beautiful part of the world for 12 years. I was there last in 2001. It's funny how even more special a place becomes once you leave it for good. Sense of place, sense of self...

My page on Reggio Calabria


Another special page of mine...some of the stuff gets pretty emotional. I've pulled back from the situation a bit. I realized I had to do this one day when I thought, I cannot come into work and cry every day just because tanks are rolling through my streets. I'm not there anymore, it's not 'my' place. Well, most of all, it is beyond your control to do anything, so focus on your life, here and now, in Pakistan. Still the four years in Palestine will be with me fundamentally, forever.

Palestine - My Home for Nearly Four Years

Lahore - South Asia's Hidden Gem

My original duty station was meant to be Lahore in Pakistan's Punjab Province. Lahore is also referred to as the historical capital of Punjab and is a contemporary to India's Delhi. In the end I landed in Islamabad where I lived during my time in the country. I only wish my fascination with this bustling city had started earlier...

My page on Lahore

  • Intro Updated Feb 22, 2007
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Comments (101)

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    Hope your birthday is filled with all the fun you can handle!

  • CEP1863's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Laurina, wishing you a very happy birthday and a year filled with exciting travel!

  • sdq's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    Happy Birthday Laurina next time you come to Karachi just let me know there are many interesting places which you haven't seen...I'll take you to there..hope you'll enjoy.

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    Ciao Laurina! Happy Birthday tomorrow! and Happy New Year too. Are you in Trieste these days? Let me know as I might stop at Caffè San Marco for the Magris connection, before long. I'd love to have coffee with you and hear your latest news. Tanti auguri! lou

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Happy Birthday Laurina! Have a great day!

  • Fullmoonfever's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2010 at 6:15 PM


  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2009 at 1:23 AM

    Hi Laurina! Happy Birthday and Happy New Year 2010! You are very, very welcome for Euromeet 2010 in Krakow, Poland (28-30 May, 2010)! Details and links on my homepage. Please, think over it! We need you in Krakow! Smiles from both matcrazies ---> :-)))

  • marvelous_girl's Profile Photo
    Jun 30, 2009 at 12:20 AM

    nice 2 hav u back im in lahore now a days in a hostel 4 studies. 2day i m at home 2moro ill b goin back 2 hostel

  • jrs1234's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    Happy Birthday, Laurina - and have a great 2009 - cheers!

  • a2lopes's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2008 at 6:18 AM

    Happy birthday and happy holidays. All the best for the coming year. Greetings from Lisbon which is waiting for your visit next year for the Euromeeting. It will be fun with lots of vteers

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“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”

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